Climatic and oceanic forcing of new, net, and diatom production in the North Water

TitleClimatic and oceanic forcing of new, net, and diatom production in the North Water
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsTremblay, JE, Gratton, Y, Fauchot, J, Price, NM
JournalDeep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography
Type of Article{Article}

{New, net, and diatom production in the North Water were estimated during May to July 1998 from in vitro measurements of nitrate uptake and mesoscale temporal changes in the inventories of nitrate, silicate, oxygen, and inorganic carbon (DIC). Sampling stations were divided into two domains according to the position of the dominant water types: the silicate-rich Arctic water (SRAW) and Baffin Bay Water (BBW). BBW dominated in the southeast and was associated with relatively shallow upper mixed layers (UMLs) and weak horizontal advection. A phytoplankton bloom started in late April in BBW and grew slowly over 7 weeks, during which time the build-up of particulate organic nitrogen and carbon accounted for ca. 80% of the nitrate and DIC deficit, respectively. Over half of the new production (1.37gCm(-2)d(-1)) during this period was attributed to wind-driven replenishment of nitrate in the euphotic zone. The bloom culminated when seasonally declining winds and rising temperatures severed the UML from the deep nutrient reservoir. The same change in weather induced ice melt, stratification, and bloom development in northern SRAW, which had previously been characterized by deep UMLs. Collectively, the results imply that the timing and magnitude of blooms in the North Water are controlled by a succession of oceanic and climatic forcings. New C production in the North Water during April to July (1.11 gCm(-2)d(-1)) was an order of magnitude higher than in adjacent waters and up to 8 times higher than in the Northeast Water polynya. As much as 80% of this production was mediated by diatoms > 5 mum, suggesting potentially high and efficient C transfer to the herbivorous food web and deep waters. (C) 2002 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.}